Talk:Middle Ages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Featured article Middle Ages is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 12, 2013.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 19, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
April 17, 2013 Peer review Reviewed
May 26, 2013 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Incorrecct treatment of Iberian Peninsula[edit]

This article does not deal correctly with the Iberian peninsula, or treats it as if the only significant members of it were the small northern Christian kingdoms, which over centuries, with help from France, succeeding in conquering the Islamic states in the south of the peninsula.

During the tenth, eleventh, and part of the twelfth centuries, Moorish Spain was by far the leading civilization anywhere around the Mediterranian - by population, literacy, libraries, educational and legal systems, science, by any criterion one cares to name. It was anything but part of the decay and depopulation seen elsewhere. Córdoba was the largest city in the world. See al-Andalus, Caliphate of Córdoba, and Córdoba, Andalusia#Islamic Period.

Also, the black plague didn't have much influence in the Iberian peninsula, either.

How should this best be handled?

(I'm not a Muslim, if anyone is suspecting me of bias. Just a Hispanist.) deisenbe (talk) 12:55, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

We use the overview books to determine weight of coverage - works such as Barber's Two Cities or Davies' Europe. And it's certainly not true that there was "decay and depopulation" other than in Spain - that's an old narrative that's been discredited. You've been trying to insert a POV into the lead of the article without having it in the body. And the source you're using appears to be an article you wrote yourself. You'll want to look at overview's of the entire period (which is what this article is) to get an idea why things in many areas are covered very thinly. (And I'm not sure it's true that Cordoba was the largest city in the world - Bagdad or one of the Chinese cities would probably need to be looked at in light of that claim also). Ealdgyth - Talk 13:09, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
"And it's certainly not true that there was "decay and depopulation" other than in Spain - that's an old narrative that's been discredited" The first sentence of the second paragraph of the article starts with "depopulation". What discrediting are you talking about?

OK, let's say Bagdad or a Chinese city would be bigger than Cordoba. By your own words, Cordoba is the biggest city _in Europe_. Shouldn't this be mentioned somewhere?

Are you alleging that the Iberian Peninsula _is_ treated adequately in the article? deisenbe (talk) 16:15, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

I'm not saying (I categorically deny anything to do with "alleging" - that's very loaded and it's not helpful to the conversation to say that someone else is "alleging" something) anything about whether or not the article adequately treats anything.. I'm waiting to see any new overview-type sources that discuss this sort of thing. As for "depopulation and decay" - by the time of Cordoba's caliphate - no, northern Europe was not in a state of "decay and depopulation" - by 1000 or so, the Carolingian Renaissance had already occurred. That's hardly decay. Yes, the first sentence of the second paragraph of the lead uses "depopulation" - but the full sentence is "Depopulation, deurbanisation, invasion, and movement of peoples, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages." - which covers the period up until about 700/800 - not through the whole period. You were specifically discussing the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries - which do NOT see decay and depopulation in Europe - quite the opposite, actually. I did not say Cordoba was the largest city in Europe... we'd need to see sources that mention that and state it clearly. If the overview works see fit to give prominence to some things, then we need to cover them. But we go from what our sources say - and the best sources for this sort of very-high level overview article are overview works. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:30, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

Further reading section[edit]

Hi, is there anyone else who thinks that the "Further reading" section could need some cleaning up? I would expect to find reading on a general level about the Middle Ages there, and of such works there are a number of examples, e.g. Smith, Julia (2005). Europe After Rome: A New Cultural History, 500-1000. and Stuard, Susan Mosher (1987). Women in Medieval History and Historiography. , but I also spot a few works which seem, at least at first glance, to be more of specialised studies, perhaps better suited for sub-articles?. I'm thinking of "Does Inquisition Belong to Religious History?", "The Carolingian Age: Reflections on its Place in the History of the Middle Ages", "On the Representation of History and Fiction in the Middle Ages" and "History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Text in the Middle Ages". What do other people think? If these or some of these are removed, perhaps there are other, more general works which could replace them (one that comes to mind at once is Robert Bartlett's The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950-1350). Yakikaki (talk) 16:36, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Objection to reversion[edit]

User:Ealdgyth, I don't have time to argue with you about this, but I object to your reversion of my edit. We really should put in the approximate dates of the different parts. I really did correct a sentence that was bad – read it carefully! The sentence I restored about the three periods is useful information. The timeline is a good thing. And if you don't like me using "ca" to mean "about", then edit it, don't revert! Please be more considerate, and restore my edit. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:59, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

But ... the approximate dates aren't exact and are actually contradicted in the text - we're better off giving the context than misleading folks with the parentheticals. The timeline is subject to the same issue - it makes things look neat and tidy when they aren't. And the sentence which you added about Pirenne is unsourced - this is a FA ... everything is sourced. You added it in before a sentence sourced to Mommsen's "Petrarch's Conception of the Dark Ages" - but nothing in Mommsen's article discusses what you added at all. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm restoring my edit, with a couple changes. I've used "about" instead of "ca", and put "citation needed" after the sentence about Pirenne and Huizinga. That sentencce is almost sourced, since it says exactly who popularized that way of subdividing the Middle Ages. I don't have their books, but I'm sure that anyone who does can check, and put in an exact reference. It's not forbidden to put in a sentence that does not have full reference. As for the division dates (476, 1000, and 1300), of course they're not exact. That's why I said "ca" and now "about". There's no such thing as an exact date for these divisions, because the divisions are arbitrary anyway. I think some dates should be given in the introduction (as I have done), because people want to know. They don't want to read the whole article to find out. If the body of the article gives different dates, then edit it so that either they agree or there is some explanation about differing opinions. Don't just revert! Also, the timeline obviously gives one particular (popular) way of dividing the Middle Ages, but it's useful. Nobody is going to get some wrong idea from it. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:29, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
"Almost" sourced isn't good enough - if you don't have a source (and it needs to be a secondary source stating that those scholars popularlized it ... you can't use their works for that statement. Please remove the unsourced statements (including the unsourced timeline) from this featured article. You're actions are not helpful to it keeping it's status as a featured article. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:48, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm reverting for now, following the Bold-Revert-Discuss cycle. We shouldn't be adding new material into any article complete with a cn tag, particularly after it's already been challenged by another editor, and we shouldn't be adding material to the lead that we know is at odds with the cited material in the main body without discussing and getting consensus on the talk page first. I'm not keen on the timeline either, btw, as I don't think it helps communicate the ambiguous message in the main text well. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:54, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So why don't you fix the things you don't like instead of reverting? Did you notice the sentence that I corrected, and which you and Ealdgyth have both put back to the ungrammatical form that it had? By the way, Ealdgyth doesn't contest the fact that Pirenne and Huizinga popularized the division into the three periods with divisions at 1000 and 1300 – he just doesn't like it that there's a sentence without an explicit and full reference. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:19, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know either way if it's Pirenne and Huzinga. And it's probably not that important in this article either that those names get mentioned - we mention the person who first used three part division - this isn't an article on the historiography of the concept of the Middle Ages - it's an article on the Middle Ages. As for the grammar problem - it's better to make changes to well-established articles in small steps - your improvements won't be lost when sweeping changes get reverted. Your change to the sentence in the lead about the Carolingian Empire is wrong - the breakup started in the mid-9th century and we should not be saying it lasted until the end of the 9th century. If that sentence is your concern - I've tweaked it. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:13, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Eric, you say "why don't you fix the things you don't like" -- I agree this is common practice on pages that are still being actively worked on, but it's not the usual approach for featured articles. When I edit a featured article (and often this applies to good articles too) I assume that multiple people have looked at and agreed on the current text, and even if I have good reasons for a change I comment on the talk page first to try to get consensus for the change. That doesn't apply to small fixes, grammar changes, and wording, of course. In addition, there are two specific things about your suggested edit that definitely need to be discussed before implementing. First, putting in something with a {{cn}} tag seems like a backwards move -- why not just wait till you or someone else can get the source in question, and add it with a proper citation? Second, the timeline directly contradicts the content of the article. That means it shouldn't go in without accompanying changes to the article, and surely you'd agree that would need discussion, even if this weren't a featured article. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:30, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The pre-existing version, now reverted to, isn't really ideal. In the lead you can piece together from various paras the top-level timeline, apart from the high-late boundary. And that doesn't even appear in the section on periodization. Eric is at least correct that this information, with suitable caveats, needs to be in the lead, and in the periodization section in some form. Johnbod (talk) 15:07, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

recent edit[edit]

[1] Personally I think a shorter version of this point worth keeping. It's not just their views (the Bulgarian nation is no doubt 100% with them!). Johnbod (talk) 14:07, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

It really belongs more as "Historiography" than "modern perceptions" and while I'm not opposed to a shorter version - I haven't seen it in other writers. I'd want to see that it's a mainstream view rather than just (as presented) the view of two historians. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:28, 2 May 2015 (UTC)